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Jalopnik: What's The Greatest Pace Car Of All Time? [Question Of The Day]

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504x_camaro_pace.jpgPace cars have always been a way for automakers to trot out new models, test appearance packages, and create interest in their brands. But not all are created equal. What's the greatest pace car of all time?

We're partial to the Chevy XT-2 Concept Truck. This was a front-engined, RWD camino-style truck built on the F-body platform with a Corvette suspension and the 4.5-liter V6 good for 360 HP and 315 lb-ft of twist. Not bad. It also featured the tuned port injection feature, which provided more power and efficiency than a carburated engine.

Most importantly, it looked awesome. Sort of a futuristic cab-forwardesque ute type vehicle with awful 90s purple paint, flying buttresses and a lightbar embedded into the edge of the roof. It served as a pace car for the CART PPG Indy Car World Series. Sadly, neither the car nor the series made it very far.

What about you? Have you owned a pace car? Lusted after one?

504x_Chevy_XT-2.jpg

(QOTD is your chance to answer the day's most pressing automotive questions and experience the opinions of the insightful insiders, practicing pundits and gleeful gearheads that make up the Jalopnik commentariat. If you've got a suggestion for a good "Question Of The Day" send an email to tips at jalopnik dot com.)

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Well, Hudson beat me to the answer that popped into my head first: The Chrysler Newport.
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The XT-2 was a really interesting concept - it always surprised me that they would go so far just to create a pace car (truck).

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The '49 Olds pace car had these monsterous chromed 3-D rockets on the front fenders, as long as the entire front fender. They were initially loaded up with some sort of compound that released smoke & sparks as they drove around the track, obviously to reinforce the 'Rocket' ID, but the pace car driver complained it got in his eyes and they were doused. But the idea is fantastically campy and cool.

1949PaceCar.jpg

Edited by balthazar
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Neat historical note, balthazar.

I need to get to the indy 500 museum to see some of these cars.

Not GM, but I always liked the 65 Sport Fury and the 66 Mercury Cyclone GT.

Both really cool. But my all time fav. Indy Pace cars are the 70 and 72 Cutty's.

The 55 Chevy pace car was cool also, and I am a huge fan of the 55 Chev.

As far as non Indy pace cars, a few Cobra replicas (factory 5 and Superformance) have served as pace cars for PPG IIRC and other organizations. A few Cobra Jet Mustang Convertibles (VERY rare car, only about 50 or 75 built in 69 and then again in 70) were used as pace cars for regional tracks.

Chris

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